Archive for November, 2011

“Pull Over Sir, I Must Fine You for Smoking in Your Car” »

Sean Gabb (Libertarian Alliance of UK) recently sent me a press release protesting the British Medical Association’s call for a ban on smoking in cars. With the usual caveat that smoking is dangerous, kills, causes impotence, flatulence, and everything in between. . . There are people opposed to cigarette smoking (myself included) and then...
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Robert Higgs’s Tocqueville Award Acceptance Speech (November 15, 2011) »

Distinguished honorees, co-chairs and honorary co-chairs, Mr. and Mrs. Theroux, ladies and gentlemen, It is a great honor to have been selected to receive the Alexis de Tocqueville Award on this occasion. For many years, I have been working with David Theroux, the founder of the Independent Institute, and Mary Theroux, the Institute’s senior...
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Insider Trading by Representative Spencer Bachus »

Insider trading (buying and selling securities based on non-public information) is illegal for most people. But, insider trading is not illegal for members of Congress. Of course not. They are the ones who write the laws. Here is a story about insider trading done by Rep. Spencer Bachus, when he was ranking member of...
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The Government Is the Problem »

Ronald Reagan said “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.” Nowhere does this appear more true than with the state of the global economy today. My fellow blogger Robert Higgs has repeatedly emphasized the government creation of regime uncertainty that keeps unemployment high and investment low, because businesses are...
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Mario Vargas Llosa and the Search for Liberty »

In an op-ed that ran last week in the Wall Street Journal, Nobel laureate writer and Gala for Liberty honoree Mario Vargas Llosa defended his passion for individual liberty and lamented those critics—on the left and the right—who praise his novels but distance themselves from the pro-freedom ideals they represent. One reason for the disconnect, he argues, can be...
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Why I Voted “No” to a Strike »

Classical liberals are used to being the “odd one out” but how many of us have lived through a strike with its demands for “solidarity”? I believe in voluntary association and even joined the Faculty Association (union) some years ago. I also believe that workers may strike but they are not entitled to a...
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More “Green” Energy Cronyism and Corporate Welfare »

The New York Times reports in “A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy Search” that NRG Energy is receiving nearly $1.6 billion in government subsidies for its new compound in California of almost one million solar panels. The Times further notes that: Similar subsidy packages have been given to 15 other solar- and...
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Biodefense Cronyism and Corporate Welfare »

In the aftermath of the Solyndra cronyism debacle, the Los Angeles Times now reports that a no-bid contract was awarded last May to a firm controlled by a billionaire Obama supporter for the highly unlikely national security threat of a small pox attack: Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a...
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Armistice Day »

Updated*. On November 11, 1918, the world finally had enough of the irrational killing spree known as World War I. Fifteen million individual human beings had perished in what was the largest military conflict the world had yet seen. Armistice Day, marking the end of the war, was declared a holiday by the Allied...
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One of Reagan’s Greatest Acts on Behalf of American Freedom »

It seems that every year, conservatives and Republicans go further in their admiration of President Reagan. Surely he is held up as some kind of paragon of proper governance, and many nostalgically look to his reign as some kind of high point in the executive branch’s devotion to American liberty. There is one area...
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